Hey, gang!

Today’s Kickstarter Highlight is Bloodborne: The Board Game by Cool Mini or Not!

Now. If you know me personally, then you’re probably aware of my almost obsessive fondness for the Bloodborne video game. I’ve played that game on my PS4 more times than any other game in my collection. From the extreme challenge level, to the press-your-luck combat system, to the insane Lovecraftian setting and lore, Bloodborne is a masterpiece. I’ve written before on CMON’s card game adaptaion, which is already the perfect port of all the elements I just mentioned – it stays true to the Bloodborne experience while just… working for a tabletop card game.

The Bloodborne board game looks like it’ll deliver on all the same juicy Bloodborne challenge, combat, and setting… and make for an awesome board game.

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Like the card game before it, the board game minimizes the element of random chance, instead emphasizing player choice. Combat in Bloodborne is diceless, meaning players must take the information they know (which enemy they’re facing and the speed & strength of that enemy’s attack coming at them) and decide how they want to strike their foe. Combat actions are resolved in speed order, so it becomes a tactical puzzle where you’ve got to decide if you want to strike quick to outmaneuver the enemy, or if you want to mitigate the damage coming at you before striking back with a slow but powerful blow. This holds true to the way combat feels in the video game – timing is crucial, because if you make a split-second decision to go for a walloping power attack instead of hedging your risk with a dodge, then you could be in for a rude drop in your health meter. But if you do strike back quikly enough, you can recover some of your lost health. Combat in Bloodborne is risky and notoriously unforgiving – death often means huge setbacks.

minis.jpgCombat gameplay aside, the metagame in Bloodborne the board game is exciting as well. Campaigns (of which there are several included in the box) are played in a series of chapters, where players are able to grow their hunter and face tougher challenges and story decisions. I’m eager to see how the progression aspect compares to the feeling of getting that new hunter weapon or piece of armor in the video game.

Of course, it goes without saying that the components in Bloodborne are top-notch. The rendering for the Vicar Amelia mini (still in development and subject to change) definitely dredges up memories of the awe and fear I went through trying to defeat her in the video game. I say “trying” because it took me many… many attempts.

The Bloodborne board game will include dozens of high quality miniatures – from the fearsome bosses to the players’ individual hunters to the rank-and-file minions that patrol the streets of Yharnam. With stretch goals (of which, many have been unlocked), Bloodborne is looking like it’ll be a packed box of goodness.

Be sure to swing by the Kickstarter page for Bloodborne, and check it out in all its glory. Until next time, gang. Keep it plucky!

Nick

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